“Parked in the middle of nowhere… this visually stunning island makes an instant impact on the
senses with its jaw-dropping World Heritage-listed beauty,” Lonely Planet writes.
Global travel experts, Lonely Planet, has just voted Lord Howe Island as the world’s fifth-best region to visit in 2020 – and we totally agree! Just 11km by 3km, the crescent-shaped, UNESCO World Heritage Listed island is the ultimate getaway, with fine weather and just 400 visitors allowed at any time.
To celebrate this wonderful achievement, we’re counting down eight reasons why you should visit Lord Howe Island this summer.
Hike through world-heritage land
The most luscious and invigorating hike is to the top of Mount Gower. It’s 875 metres to the peak and can be completed in a guided, eight-hour return trip. Be ready to break a sweat for this rewarding experience where the journey is just as spectacular as the destination. Mind you, that destination is an astounding 360-degree view of the surrounding ocean. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but the one-day hike to Mount Gower is considered one of the world’s best climbs. The guided class 5 walk provides some of the island’s most rewarding experiences including encounters with rare flora and Lord Howe’s famous woodhen. This trek will further reward you with astounding views leaving you truly feeling on top of the world. For those experienced hikers who enjoy a challenge, join The Seven Peaks Walk by Pinetrees. Explore the variety of this island paradise with pristine beaches and exposed coral platforms through subtropical palm forests, freshwater creeks, rugged sea cliffs and volcanic peaks, to the mist forests of Mount Gower. For a quirkier experience, rent or borrow a bike from your accommodation and explore the island at your leisure. Traffic? What traffic?
Dive in the pristine waters
Tropical and cooler waters collide in the ocean around Lord Howe, resulting in the world’s southernmost reef with 90 coral species, green and hawksbill turtles and 500 species of fish – the perfect conditions for scuba diving and snorkelling. More than 60 underwater sites lure divers of all skill levels, with local operators offering PADI diving courses. You can also hop on board a glass-bottom boat for a tour if you’re not up for snorkelling. But, the water is not just for exploring. Ride a wave to shore at some of the most unspoilt beaches featuring limited tourists. Have you ever dreamed of catching a wave without the hassle of competing with a crowd? Well, now you can!
Indulge in the ultimate rejuvenation
Had a tough day exploring this idyllic paradise? Recharge those batteries and relax your soul at the incredible Capella Spa. For the ultimate indulgence, try the three-hour ‘Dreaming’ treatment including everything imaginable to leave you feeling balanced and renewed. As well as day spas, the accommodation is perfect for relaxing too. For those luxury lovers, look no further than the Lidgbird Pavilion of the Capella Lodge. The superlative all-inclusive double-story apartment features panoramic views of the ocean, mountains and subtropical rainforest. Sumptuous ground level living blends seamlessly with the private outdoor lounging area and the private plunge pool. And for the ultimate relaxing experience, take a kayak to the water and witness the phenomenal sunset behind this idyllic paradise.
Increase that good karma
Being a world heritage site, Lord Howe Island is teeming with local and international volunteers that work together to keep this place thriving with all the species it contains. Experience nature like nowhere else and be part of sustaining this amazing environment whilst experiencing firsthand the species that the conservation projects are safeguarding. The globally recognised conservation project has experts from all over the world working side by side with conservation volunteers monitoring, collecting and exploring this unique natural environment. For something truly wonderful, head to Neds Beach and hand-feed mullet, butterflyfish and stingrays, or snorkel the shallow reef to see giant clams and corals.
Visit Ball’s Pyramid
23 kilometres south of Lord Howe Island is a spectacular 550-metre spearhead of grey basalt that seemingly explodes from the ocean. The world’s largest volcanic stack is home to extraordinary birdlife and the waters surrounding Ball’s Pyramid are teeming with marine life. It’s only natural to take a cruise out to witness this razor-sharp monolith. While your here, pop on some snorkelling gear and check out the underwater habitats.
Search for the best fishing opportunities
Lord Howe is a top destination for big-game fishing for yellowfin tuna, wahoo, marlin and more. The island’s abundant waters are home to more delicious fish including whiting, trevally, bonefish, Australian salmon, spangled emperor, bluefish and wrasse. Nothing relaxes the mind like chilling on the beach with a fishing rod in one hand and a beer in the other. And if you happen to get lucky and catch a winner, the head chef at Arajilla Retreat, Ben Crompton, will help you enjoy it in style. Ben and his experienced team will prepare the catch and serve it to your liking.
Play a stellar round of golf
Originating from a market garden in 1969, the Lord Howe Island Golf Club has been developed and expanded into one of the most picturesque and challenging courses in Australia. Be careful where you hit that ball! From the shadows of the imposing Mount Lidgbird and Mount Gower, the course meanders through the lushly vegetated kentia palm forest out into the gently undulating open fairways along the ocean foreshore, providing the golfer with many challenges along the way.
Dine like a local
Try for a BBQ, Lord Howe Islander style. The 11 beautiful beaches are perfectly suited to barbequing outdoors, with their golden sand and spectacular views of the island. Make the most of the abundance of locally sourced seafood and cook yourself some dinner in this picturesque setting. Don’t feel like cooking? Then pick out one of their top restaurants on the island. A popular eatery is The Anchorage, serving sensational seafood degustations. But be sure to try the famous Fish Fry Buffet at Beach House on the Moon. This buffet menu is available for only two nights a week, with fresh seafood served up a la carte style.
Feature image: Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island. Image supplied.